Nanofabricated structures and microfluidic devices for bacteria: from techniques to biology
Nanofabricated structures and microfluidic technologies are increasingly being used to study bacteria because of their precise spatial and temporal control. They have facilitated studying many long-standing questions regarding growth, chemotaxis and cell-fate switching, and opened up new areas such as probing the effect of boundary geometries on the subcellular structure and social behavior of bacteria. We review the use of nano/microfabricated structures that spatially separate bacteria for quantitative analyses and that provide topological constraints on their growth and chemical communications. These approaches are becoming modular and broadly applicable, and show a strong potential for dissecting the complex life of bacteria at various scales and engineering synthetic microbial societies.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Bioinspired Surfaces and Materials